The Utes are in the desert to take on a very wounded ASU team who fired Herm Edwards this past week. If you’re at all like me, I have too much USC PTSD from when they fired their coaches and played Utah right after. Utah is the better team, no doubt, but like the coaches and players said all week, a wounded animal is scary.
For the Utes, the hope is to get off to a strong start, which has eluded them the past two weeks. I have a hunch that Cam Rising and the crew on offense will have to bury ASU. I think ASU and those athletes will get some yards and points against Utah, especially being at home and wanting to rally after that terrible loss they had a week ago. This feels like a game where the offense will need to break out and put up points and yards in chunks.
It’s the opening of conference play, and the real race for the Roses begins now.
First Quarter: Utah Utes 14 Arizona State 0
Utah’s defense has looked impressive as the first quarter comes to a close. The defense has racked up 3 total sacks and Dalton Kincaid has 3 receptions for 49 yards and 2 touchdown receptions. The Utes have started slow this season in the first quarter but fortunately after their first drive stalled the Utes have been steady as they have marched down the field en route to two impressive scores. The first was a flea flicker touchdown and the second was an impressive touchdown grab on 4th and 1. The only worrying sign was Brant Kuithe going down with an injury on the last play of the first quarter. Hopefully, he’s okay but it has the look of a serious injury since he was helped off the field and putting no weight on his right leg.
Second Quarter: Utah Utes 24 Arizona State 6
Utah has continued to look really good on defense and the offense has been efficient. Jaylon Glover is getting the start because of apparently some team discipline issues from Tavion Thomas and has 11 carries for 37 yards rushing. Cam Rising has looked really good in the first half and is 16-20 for 179 yards for 2 touchdown passes. Arizona State’s offense hasn’t been great but has managed a few big plays to get them in position for a 36 and 47-yard field goal to get on the board. Kuithe was the biggest loss in the first half as he went down with a potentially serious injury at the end of the first quarter. The Utes are completely in control but can hopefully put the game away quickly in the second half.
Third Quarter: Utah Utes 31 Arizona State 6
Utah adds a touchdown in the quarter thanks to an 11-yard touchdown run from Jaylen Dixon. Arizona State’s offense has been able to move the ball better in the third quarter but had a drive stall due to a turnover on downs and then fumbled the football on the last play of the third quarter. The Utes had a promising drive end when Cam Rising threw an incompletion on fourth down and another drive ended in the quarter after a Rising interception. The Utah defense has continued to be excellent and has been looking to strip the ball every time a Sun Devil is held up with the football. Hopefully, the Utes can continue to pull away and give Bryson Barnes a chance to see some action. Important to note that Tavion Thomas finally got some touches in the quarter after being held out in the first half.
Fourth Quarter: Utah Utes 34 Arizona State 13
The Utah defense stole the show tonight as they tallied 5 sacks in a dominant performance to allowe the Utes to cruise to a win in Tempe in a PAC 12 after dark special. Cam Rising was 19-29 for 260 yards passing and 1 interception. Tavion Thomas had 11 carries for 60 yards rushing after sitting out the first half for an undisclosed team issue. The worst news of the night was Brant Kuithe who went down with an injury on the last play of the first quarter and it appears to be a serious injury and could be an ACL injury. Overall it was a solid win in Tempe and the Utes largely put the game in cruise control in the fourth quarter. The other downside to the game was the inability of the offense to convert on lengthy drives multiple times after entering the red zone which would have greatly padded the lead. The Utes will have to be better if they are going to win at home against a Beavers team that gave USC all they could handle.
Next Up: Utah Utes vs Oregon State Beavers at Rice Eccles Stadium at 12 pm MT on the PAC 12 Network for the Homecoming game.